Israel Prepared for Sunday Border Protests

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JERUSALEM, Israel - Israeli officials said they're hopeful peace would prevail on the northern and southern borders Sunday when Palestinians mark 'Naksa Day' with protesters marching to the borders.

For Arabs, Naksa Day marks a day of mourning Arab losses in the 1967 Six Day War. The call to "storm Israel's borders" has been going out on social networking sites, following the lead of protest organizers in Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, and Syria.

Three weeks ago, Lebanese and Syrian Palestinians attempted to breach Israel's northern border to mark the 'Nakba.' 

Nakba - or catastrophe - is the Palestinian Authority's official position on the establishment of the modern State of Israel. Eleven people were killed during the protests.

On Friday afternoon, Lebanon's Daily Star confirmed that "Palestinian factions" would not storm the border with Israel as had been previously announced.

According to the report, an Islamic Jihad member said the marches would be canceled in view of the "current situation in Lebanon."

A day earlier, the Lebanese Army declared the area around the border with Israel a closed military zone.

The website quoted one man saying the date was irrelevant as their "aim is to reach the borders." Another reportedly said the postponement would "leave the Israeli enemy in a state of suspense and anxiety."

Neither Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor Israeli Defense Forces Chief of Staff Benny Gantz appeared anxious about the events planned for Sunday. Gantz said the IDF was "preparing in all the different potential areas."

On Thursday, Netanyahu told participants at a hi-tech conference in Jerusalem that Israel would not allow its borders to be breached.

"Like any country in the world, Israel has the right and duty to guard and defend its borders," Netanyahu said.

"Therefore my instructions are clear: to act with restraint, but with the necessary decisiveness to protect our borders, our communities and our citizens," he said.

Earlier reports indicated that Syrian protesters might follow Lebanon's lead. But some Syrian sources boasted that Sunday's protest march from Damascus would be bigger than the one three weeks ago.

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